The state of venture capital and AI weapons

Photo by Diana Măceşanu on Unsplash

By Jason Middleton

Venture Capital Soars

Here’s “venture capital”’ in the first quarter of 2018: “Nationally, venture capital investment into U.S. companies reached the highest level of the last three years.”

Second quarter of 2018?: “Hold my beer.”

New records have been set in the second quarter when it comes not only to money finding projects, but also IPOs and mergers/acquisitions.

Venture capital is soaring when it comes to seeking out places to invest and plant some seeds. When it comes to exits, though, that’s a different story. Are we in a VC bubble? Or close to one?

This week we have Ernst & Young’s US Venture Capital Leader Jeffrey Grabow on in segment one to answer that question. He’s equipped with data, analytics, and some stories about where investment money is moving, and who the newest players are.

Robot Warfare

As humans become more aware (comfortable?) about artificial intelligence, the bleeding-edge analysts and moralists are worried about robotic warfare and what it could mean for civilization.

Remember the ‘”flash crash” on Wall Street back in the day? What would happen if that escalated into a “flash war?”

In segment two, we have Paul Scharre in the studio to help us get our arms around autonomous weaponry and its potential consequences.

Scharre is a Pentagon defense expert, former U.S. Army ranger and the author of “ARMY OF NONE: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War.”

Want some bona fides? Scharre is loaded with them:

  • From 2008-2013, Scharre worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) where he played a leading role in establishing policies on unmanned and autonomous systems and emerging weapon technologies. Scharre led the DoD working group that drafted DoD Directive 3000.09, establishing the department’s policies on autonomy in weapon systems.
  • Scharre also led DoD efforts to establish policies on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) programs and directed energy technologies. He was involved in the drafting of the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance, 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review and secretary-level planning guidance. His most recent position was special assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood.
  • Prior to joining OSD, Scharre served as a special operations reconnaissance team leader in the Army’s 3rd Ranger Battalion and completed multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a graduate of the Army’s airborne, ranger, and sniper schools and honor graduate of the 75th Ranger Regiment’s Ranger Indoctrination Program.

Please click through any of the above links for more information. Visit our show page to view all our podcasts (see this week’s segments mentioned in the article below) or find them on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play.

Have great weeks, everybody!


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